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Focus Macomb - June 2023

Message from Mark

Mark Hackel

Welcome to another edition of Focus Macomb, our newsletter for all things Macomb County. I’d like to begin this message by sharing an update on a very special event my office held with our Senior Services team - our second annual Centenarian Celebration. On June 21, we gathered to honor several remarkable individuals who have reached the incredible milestone of turning 100-years-old in Macomb County. I’d like to again recognize these incredible individuals, who are a living testament to the rich history and vibrant spirit of our community, including:

  • Mike Aleo, 100
  • Irma Black, 103
  • Virginia Gunia, 100
  • Eugenia Kempski
  • Frank Maranzano, 100
  • Francis Mauro Masters, 101
  • Lee Newby, 100
  • Ella Jane Trombley, 100

Thank you for taking part in this event, for sharing your stories and for giving us the opportunity to listen and learn. You can view photos of the event here.

On a different note, I'd like to call attention to an important initiative recently launched through our Department of Planning and Economic Development. This team is working with Wayne and Oakland counties on the Tri-County Broadband Survey, an effort that will study local internet connections with the goal of improving accessibility in our communities. I’m really pleased to see this collaboration, with all three counties working to ensure no one in the metro area is left behind. Together, we can make our region even stronger - so I hope you’ll consider taking the short survey. You can access it here or you can learn more about the initiative in the story below

Now, it’s summer in Macomb County, which means there are endless opportunities for outdoor fun. You can go to a concert at Freedom Hill, or grab a scoop of ice cream at a local shop or parlor. There are also fireworks shows and summer festivals taking place all season long. And the Bass, Brews & BBQ Festival, in conjunction with the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Lake St. Clair, will be taking place later in July. Still looking for something fun? Check out for ideas and inspiration and find us on Facebook too. We even have a special events page with all the details and information you need for attending local fairs, gatherings and more. I hope all these resources help you enjoy summer in Macomb County. I know I will.

Thank you and take care.


Macomb County receives historic funding from the State of Michigan to support its proposed jail intake and assessment facility


Macomb County has been awarded $40 million in state funding to support its innovative jail intake, assessment and housing facility.  The funding allocated by the state legislature will be matched with federal and local contributions to fund this proposed $230 million capital project.  

"I want to thank our state leaders for recognizing the importance of this transformational project,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “From our conversations with Governor Whitmer to our numerous meetings with legislators, it was evident that public safety remains a top priority and that they are committed to investing in projects that have an impact on mental health.”    

Many times people in crisis end up in our jails, instead of in the care of mental health practitioners who are better prepared to treat a wide variety of concerns. This new facility is being designed with a mindful approach to address the mental health and substance abuse needs of those who come into contact with the criminal justice system.  

“The central intake and assessment facility is a critical component of keeping our community safe,” said Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham. “We are committed to upholding our constitutional responsibility to care for those that are in our custody. This new facility will provide us with the necessary space to implement vital programs and services that can make a real difference."

For the past 25 years the county has examined a number of alternatives to address this critical infrastructure need. Funding has always been the main barrier. Today’s announcement provides the county with the additional funding needed to proceed with this project.  

“We were able to build an exceptional team of advocates who helped secure this critical funding for Macomb County,” said State Senator Kevin Hertel. “From my colleagues in the senate to leadership in the house, we recognized how this project will be transformative in getting people in our community the help that they need. It was clear the state needed to be a key partner in this project.”

For more information on the Mindful Approach To Mental Health the county is planning, please visit

Executive Hackel appoints leadership across County departments

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel made several leadership announcements in May and June, appointing directors for various County departments. 

Andrew Cox, former director of the Macomb County Health Department, was appointed director of Macomb County Health and Community Services. Andrew was a proven leader within the Macomb County Health Department who played a pivotal role in helping the community respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and developed dynamic community driven public health programs. He notably led the department in securing National Accreditation in 2021, the first local health department in southeast Michigan to do so. With his appointment as director of Health and Community Services, Andrew relieves Deputy County Executive Vicki Wolber, who has served as temporary director since early 2022.

To fill the vacancy made with Andrew’s appointment, Executive Hackel appointed Krista Willette, R.N., M.S.A., as the new director of the Macomb County Health Department. Krista served as the deputy director of the department. She began her career there in 1995 as a public health nurse and during her tenure she provided supervisory and management support for many programs, including community outreach, maternal and child health and clinic services. In her role as deputy director, she was responsible for the daily operations of the department, which has a budget of $31 million and more than 250 employees.

In May, Hackel announced the appointment of Edward Scott as the new director of Macomb Community Action (MCA). Edward brings a wealth of experience and expertise in leadership, community engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. He joins the department after an impressive tenure at Michigan State University Extension, where he held various leadership roles since 2010. With a background focused on non-profit organizations and youth development programs, his strategic approach and commitment to targeting underserved audiences have yielded significant results in creating a welcoming and equitable environment. and expertise in leadership, community engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

Also in May, Hackel shared news of the appointment of Ben Treppa as the new director of Facilities and Operations. Ben, previously serving as the deputy director, assumed this role following the retirement of Lynn Arnott-Bryks, who dedicated an impressive 50 years to the County. Having served as the deputy director for the past 10 years, Ben possesses an intimate understanding of Macomb County's operations, culture and strategic objectives. His appointment as the director of Facilities and Operations is a testament to his exceptional leadership skills, extensive industry knowledge and unwavering commitment to driving excellence. In his new role, he’ll assume responsibility for overseeing all aspects of facilities management and operational processes. He will work closely with his team to optimize efficiencies, drive strategic initiatives and ensure the highest standards of safety, sustainability and overall satisfaction so that Macomb County is well-positioned to continue its legacy of operational excellence, innovation and growth.

Please join us in congratulating this new leadership team.

Residents and businesses in Macomb County asked to participate in survey on broadband internet access and speed

Broadband Survey

Macomb County officials, alongside officials in Oakland and Wayne counties, are asking residents and businesses to take a 15-question survey about internet service at their households.  

The survey asks whether high-speed ("broadband") internet service is available at a given address, and at what speed.

The goal is to gain a clearer picture of connectivity in the tri-county area and support planning and possible broadband expansion efforts.

"Internet connectivity at home is an essential service no matter your demographic or where you choose to live,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “From applying for jobs, to accessing social services, and even working from home, you need a strong broadband connection to really function in this day and age. So I am pleased to see this collaboration, with all three counties working to ensure no one in the metro area is left behind. Together we can make our region even stronger." 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for broadband has become more evident, with residents working remotely, students attending school online and patients meeting doctors virtually. County Commissioners from the three counties convened in 2022 to consider how to address resident frustration over internet connectivity. In some areas, high-speed internet is unreliable, unaffordable or simply not available.

Home internet connectivity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was viewed by many as a luxury. Now it is a necessity, like electricity and clean water. The Tri-County Summit recognized this and has committed to surveying residents and businesses to identify gaps in internet service. To accomplish this, the three counties have partnered with Merit Network to develop a survey and promotional materials aimed at reaching all properties in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.

“When we look at all the major transformations that are happening in the tech revolution, it is so important that we get this infrastructure in play,” said Vicky Rowinski, director, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.

Merit Network, a Michigan-based nonprofit, is conducting the service as part of its Michigan Moonshot initiative.

Visit to complete the brief survey. Paper surveys are available upon request by calling (313) 625-0029.

Macomb County’s largest senior expo slated for September 29, sponsors and vendors needed

Senior Fun Fest

Hundreds of local senior citizens are expected at the 32nd annual Senior Fun Festival on Friday, September 29. The event, which is hosted by the Macomb County Office of Senior Services, is the largest expo of its kind in the area. As with previous senior festivals organized by Senior Services, County Executive Mark Hackel is slated to be the emcee.

“I’m thrilled to once again join our Office of Senior Services for this signature Macomb County event,” said Hackel. “The festival brings people together, allowing us to connect with friends, meet new people, and celebrate our community.”

The Senior Fun Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to Noon at the Lorenzo Cultural Center on Garfield and Hall Road in Clinton Township. It will feature a variety of resources focused on seniors and caregivers, including free health screenings, wellness information, raffles and giveaways.

“The festival offers a wide range of resources and giveaways for our attendees, but we really rely on sponsors and vendors to make that possible,” said Sheila Cote, director, Macomb County Office of Senior Services. “If you’re an organization looking to reach this audience, I can’t think of a better opportunity.”

Sponsorship packages range from $750 to $5,000 and can be altered to meet branding needs. To ensure logo placement on marketing materials, sponsors need to be confirmed by July 30.

Vendor tables are also available for $250; the cost for non-profit organizations is $100. Vendors are provided a table with tablecloth and two chairs. There will be a limited number of tables with access to electric outlets and registration for this opportunity closes August 15.

To speak to someone about becoming a sponsor or to register for a table, please contact Wendie Previdi at (586) 342-8968 or Applications to become a sponsor or registered vendor, along with additional information about the event, can be found at

Note: This event is to provide information and resources to Macomb County seniors and caregivers. No political campaigning or promoting ballot initiatives.

Host sites and sponsors still needed for 10th annual Manufacturing Day

MFG Day host sites

Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) has announced the return of Manufacturing Day, which this year, will be celebrated for an entire week as MFG Day Week. Running Oct. 2-6, local high school students will have the opportunity to tour advanced manufacturing facilities and learn more about the many interesting and well-paying jobs the industry has to offer.

“It’s amazing to think we have reached the 10-year milestone in our involvement with Manufacturing Day. That’s a lot of generous host sites and sponsors exposing our students to potential manufacturing careers,” said Vicky Rowinski, director of MCPED. “This year, our goal is to have 2,000 students join us from all 27 Macomb County high schools. It’s a big lift, but with our partners, host sites and sponsors, we know it’s possible. Over the last nine years, we’ve had 14,000 students participate in Manufacturing Day and we know we are making an impact on their futures.”

MCPED is currently seeking interested host sites and sponsors for the weeklong event. Interested parties can choose the day and time for their involvement, which gives them a chance to promote their companies and interact with young people interested in manufacturing. Those students receive a 90-120 minute guided tour and some combination of the following:

  • Briefing by a company leader who provides an overview of the company, the type of manufacturing they do and the customers they serve as well as info about employment opportunities.
  • Smaller sub-tours that highlight different work areas and careers
  • Opportunities for students to talk with employees and see the product life cycle in action 
  • Opportunities for students to see and touch the machinery, tools and products that are a part of the industrial workplace

These experiences help the students better understand what a career in advanced manufacturing might look like. Several participating companies have even hired previous Manufacturing Day attendees that were interested in the field.

“We’ve seen real connections come out of our Manufacturing Day events,” Rowinski said. “And given current workforce challenges, like talent shortages and other issues, our program is especially relevant. We’re helping create a pipeline that can supply workers and solve real problems facing our local businesses.”

Companies interested in participating in the 2023 celebration can visit to learn more and to sign up.

Macomb County to conduct risk and vulnerability assessments at local schools

Risk Assessment at local schools

Macomb County Emergency Management and Communications recently announced a partnership with the Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD) and local school districts that will allow risk and vulnerability assessments to be conducted at a number of schools across the region. To date, 14 public school districts representing 146 schools have entered into letters of agreement with the County to conduct assessments at their buildings, with costs covered by Michigan Department of Education funding. All schools, public and private, are eligible to participate in the program. 

"These assessments provide important insights into potential security improvements, ensuring that our students, educators and staff have a safe and secure learning environment," said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel "Through the long-standing partnership with the MISD and other local school districts, we are demonstrating our commitment to prioritizing the safety and well-being of our community.” 

The process provides each participating school with an assessment and follow-up report containing safety considerations, including recommendations for potential security enhancements, policy and protocol updates, school climate and training for staff. 

“Macomb County Emergency Management, the Macomb Intermediate School District and 21 local school districts have been working closely together on school safety for well over 20 years,” said Macomb Intermediate School District Superintendent Mike DeVault. “I’m grateful for the partnership between County Executive Hackel’s office and Emergency Management that has resulted in many safety initiatives, and I’m proud of the work we have done on risk and vulnerability assessment.” 

In 2019, Macomb County Emergency Management formed a school safety section to further strengthen the connections between schools, government and public safety. This section has been instrumental in supporting the MISD and local school districts in conducting risk assessments, updating emergency operations plans, conducting training and developing programs related to Behavioral Threat Assessment. 

"In May of 2019 the County of Macomb and the Macomb ISD recognized the growing need for expertise in school safety,” said Brandon Lewis, director, Macomb County Emergency Management and Communications. “At that time we used grant dollars to hire an emergency management coordinator, former Harper Woods Public Safety Director Jim Burke, to focus exclusively on our schools. It is through his efforts, and those of the emergency management staff, that we have earned the trust of our local schools and are looked to as the experts in updating them on best practices."

For more information on Macomb County Emergency Management and its school safety initiatives, visit

 Save the Date

Bass, Brews and BBQ 1x1


Bass Brews & BBQ Festival

In conjunction with Bassmaster Elite Series

Friday-Sunday, July 28-30

Brandenburg Park, Chesterfield Township




Sprint and Splash 2023

Sprint and Splash

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Lake St. Clair Metropark



Macomb Next 8-17-23

Industry 4.0 Workshop: 3D Printing, Advanced Robotics and Automation

Thursday, August 17, 2023; 8 a.m.

Velocity Center 

6633 18 Mile Road Sterling Heights, MI 48314

Department:Planning and Economic Development